Fred’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Fred’s has been grappling with losses since last five quarters now. The company incurred narrower-than-expected loss in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, with the top line meeting the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, sales declined year over year. Moreover, it has been reporting dismal comps since last many quarters, due to the sale of low productive discontinued inventory and headwinds in the consumable categories. Along with these factors, the persistent rise in generic dispensing rate has also hurt comps in the reported quarter. These factors have hurt Fred’s shares, which have underperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. We note that the loss estimates have also widened in the last seven days. Though management is trying hard to revive its performance by the execution of its turnaround strategy, which is likely to mainly focus on reducing SG&A expenses and driving free cash flow, turnaround might take time.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Loop Capital began coverage on Fred’s in a report on Thursday, August 24th. They set a “hold” rating and a $6.00 price target on the stock. TheStreet lowered Fred’s from a “c-” rating to a “d” rating in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. Deutsche Bank AG reduced their target price on Fred’s from $16.00 to $8.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Fred’s from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Fred’s has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $13.50.

Shares of Fred’s (NASDAQ FRED) traded down 1.63% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $6.63. The stock had a trading volume of 1,014,017 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $6.36 and a 200-day moving average price of $11.46. The company’s market cap is $252.28 million. Fred’s has a 52-week low of $5.62 and a 52-week high of $21.77.

Fred’s (NASDAQ:FRED) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, September 6th. The company reported ($0.15) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.19) by $0.04. The business had revenue of $507.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $504.90 million. Fred’s had a negative return on equity of 3.93% and a negative net margin of 4.94%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned ($0.18) EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Fred’s will post ($0.43) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in FRED. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Fred’s by 0.9% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,284,949 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,321,000 after acquiring an additional 30,719 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in Fred’s by 12.8% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,271,228 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,732,000 after acquiring an additional 144,437 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS purchased a new position in Fred’s during the second quarter valued at approximately $11,058,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in Fred’s by 24.2% during the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 776,513 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,172,000 after acquiring an additional 151,144 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Fred’s by 4.3% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 550,478 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,081,000 after acquiring an additional 22,736 shares in the last quarter.

Fred’s Company Profile

Fred’s, Inc (Fred’s) is engaged in the sale of general merchandise through its retail discount stores and full service pharmacies. The Company sells general merchandise to its over 20 franchisees. The Company has approximately 660 retail stores, over 370 pharmacies, and approximately three specialty pharmacy facilities located in over 15 states mainly in the Southeastern United States.

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Analyst Recommendations for Fred`s (NASDAQ:FRED)

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